Sparks celebrating their VERY hard-earned third WNBA title last season…
LOS ANGELES SPARKS
First Season: 1997, finished 14-14 and didn’t qualify for the WNBA playoffs
Most Recent Season: 2016, WNBA CHAMPIONS after finishing 26-8 in the regular season (2nd in the Western Conference) and beating the Chicago Sky in the WNBA Semifinals and the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA Finals
Overall 2016 Record: 32-11
Number of WNBA Championships: THREE – 2001, 2002, 2016
All-Time Overall Record: 398-264
All-Time Leading Scorer: Lisa Leslie, 1997-2009, (also all-time WNBA leading scorer)
The most exciting finish in WNBA (& perhaps all of basketball) history, provided by the Sparks in the finish of Game 5 of the 2016 WNBA Finals. Courtesy of YouTube.
Other Notable Players:
Candace Parker – current player and considered the best player on the Sparks
Tameka Dixon – Original Sparks player, played for nine seasons
DeLisha Milton-Jones – Played most WNBA games in history (497), including two tours with the Sparks, 1999-2004, 2008-2012
Kristi Toliver – All-time Sparks leader in three-point percentage and free throw percentage
Penny Toler – Original Sparks player, 1997-1999, currently the Sparks’ general manager
Lisa Leslie, #9
Penny Toler, #11
Home: Staples Center, capacity 19,079
First Game, 2017: vs Seattle Storm at Staples Center, Saturday, May 13th, 2:00 p.m.
Celebrating their WNBA crown at Staples Center, courtesy of YouTube.
Celebrating a win over the New York Liberty at Staples Center. Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com
A Few Thoughts:
Being an essential part of – and one of the best teams in – the most successful women’s sports league in U.S. history is certainly something to celebrate as they and the WNBA mark the 20th anniversary of their league.
I’m not exactly sure if the average sports fan in Southern California realizes that these Sparks were the only champions to call Los Angeles home over the past year.
And winning their title in a most exciting fashion on top of that, as their winning basket was scored with less than three seconds left in the deciding game of what’s widely considered the greatest women’s basketball game ever played.
And one of the best basketball games in general.
The only concern for me is whether or not the Sparks will suffer from a hangover this upcoming season, let down and not perform as well after all the excitement.
A highlight clip of the Sparks’ 2001 and 2002 championship seasons, courtesy of YouTube.
One thing is for sure…
It is my full intention to attend a Sparks game at Staples Center this summer.
I’ve been wanting to for the past few years, but I’ve somehow been unable to find the time.
Not this year – I am determined as I not only want to see a women’s pro basketball game, but also see Staples Center for the first time as I’ve regrettably never been there.
Of course an article describing what I’m sure will be quite the experience watching the Sparks and checking out the home of that team as well as the Lakers, Clippers and Kings will appear on this site.
BOTTOM LINE: I’m very much looking forward to checking those Sparks out!
Candace Parker, the Sparks’ current star who led them to the WNBA championship in 2016…